Exclusive: Kid Vishis explains why Hip Hop needs more raw lyricism, advocates for more Detroit unity and recalls rocking thousands while wearing flip flops.
Kid Vishis—the Detroit native, and younger brother of Royce Da 5’9—has been hard at work since the days of less glamorous entries on his Rap resume like the NFL Street 2 track, “Can’t Nobody Stop Me.” The grind has paid off through mixtapes such as Sick Em Vol. 2: Bar 4 Bar, and on July 22, 2014 Vishis rolled out his debut album, Timing Is Everything. Packed with 11 tracks by four producers, Vishis says, “Emcee’s are the underdogs now, and Hip Hop needs somebody to step up that’s still considered new.” Kid Vishis believes he is that new emcee.
His album title is a fitting one given Hip Hop’s recent return to the culture’s independent roots. Vishis has shown growth by honing his craft, yet he remains true to what he describes as his “aggressive style of delivery and beat selections.” He hasn’t changed so much as evolved with the times, which are hopefully ready to embrace his raw brand of Hip Hop.
For a debut album, Kid Vishis is armed with more experience than your average emcee. Vishis walks us through what it was like to tour with D12 in 2009 and how Detroit Hip Hop is always on point.
How Kid Vishis Made “Timing Is Everything” A Raw & Personal Album
HipHopDX: Let’s talk about your new album, Timing Is Everything, which dropped July 22. What was the thought process behind the title of the album?
Kid Vishis: I just feel like now is the time to strike for me. I think emcees are the underdogs now, and Hip Hop needs somebody to step up that’s still considered new but cut from that true lyrical cloth; and humbly, I’m that guy. I have been putting in the hard work that it takes to get some real results. More than ever, I feel confident in my craft enough to start releasing music that people will enjoy.
DX: What made you go stick with Chase Moore, Nemisis, Mr. Porter & Nick Zervos instead of utilizing different producers for each track?
Kid Vishis: I wanted to work with producers that I had chemistry with already and I knew I could depend on to come through for me and still make a dope album with. I didn’t want to make it a situation where I reach out to producers and they take forever to send beats or want to charge you an arm and a leg. I just wanted a core, intimate-style album with producers I was comfortable with first, then branch off and build relationships with more producers to come with a more producer friendly album.
DX: Explain your album to the fans in 10 words.
Kid Vishis: Lyrical. Fun. Diverse. Raw. Exciting. Fresh. Powerful. Refreshing. Hard. Aggressive.
It’s lyrical. It’s fun to listen to, and it was very fun making it. It’s a very diverse sounding album, and it still has the raw, tear your head off raps. It has exciting songs and bars that will amp you up. It’s fresh like a new breath of fresh air compared to all the mainstream dummy Rap. I say it’s powerful because it’s the beginning of a very powerful movement. It’s refreshing because it’s more of a throwback style album where spitting bars were important to the artist and the fans. It’s hard because most music out is just so soft that your have to call it hard [laughs]. And it’s aggressive because of my style of delivery and beat selections. Overall, it’s a dope first album that will make fans want to hear more from The Prince.
DX: Timing Is Everything is an 11-track album. What song sticks out the most to you?
Kid Vishis: Probably “Big Brothers,” man. It’s the beginning of me telling my story. I’m excited to be able to get personal and talk about my life and get people familiar with Kid Vishis as an artist and who I really am personally. I’ve never been a personal type rapper, but now I’m able to express the personal side of me. I think I have a really interesting story, similar to Royce, but much different.
Kid Vishis Calls D12 An Inspiration For Detroit; Recalls 2009 Tour
DX: Speaking of getting to know you personally, were you around Eminem & D12 at the peak of their careers?
Kid Vishis: I wasn’t around Eminem and D12 back then. I was younger and wasn’t even rapping back then. When I started rapping, those guys were already platinum, and I was seeing them on TV.
DX: Being a younger Detroit Emcee, they must mean a lot to you in terms of what Detroit Hip Hop has become?
Kid Vishis: Yeah, they are great inspirations for Detroit Hip Hop and Hip Hop in general. They are some of the best out, and nobody can ever take that away. I feel like D12 as a group that made it cool to be sarcastically clever in your rhymes. They made it okay to come unorthodox sometimes, but at the end of the day they will tear your head off lyrically. That’s probably the reason why I say whatever the fuck I want on records—because these guys inspired it along with other legends.
DX: Let’s take it back to 2009. How was it touring with D12 in the UK, Manchester, Glasgow, Dublin and London?
Kid Vishis: It was such an honor to be on tour with legends. I can’t even really put it into words. It was a great learning experience for me and just an overall great time with those guys. They are some of the coolest guys you’ll ever meet. I’ve been on tour with those guys like three or four times now, and each time it just seems more epic. Shouts out to the legendary D12. They’re one of the most original groups ever in Hip Hop history.
DX: I can only imagine what you learned and experienced on tour. What was the craziest moment of the tour?
Kid Vishis: On tour, the first stop was a festival in Switzerland. So when our flight lands, we get to the baggage claim and our bags never come out. At this point, the show must go on and we have to perform in the gear that we just did an eight-hour flight in. Royce was fresh for whatever reason, and I on the other hand had on old basketball shorts, an old t-shirt—both with paint spots on them—and some Nike flip flops. Fuck it, I’m a soldier, and I’m going to do the show in flip flops one time. It’s all good. That shit sounded good until it was time for me to walk on stage and it was like a million people out in the crowd. I was like, “What the fuck?” It was insane, but I still rocked out like I was fresh to death [laughs]. After the show, I did a disclaimer. I let everyone know that old hoop shorts and flip flops ain’t my swag or nothing. I let them know our bags got lost and they went crazy [laughs]. It was like, “Damn, Kid Vishis and Royce some soldiers!” I got a picture somewhere of me on stage too.
DX: Taking what you learned on tour with D12, do you plan on touring for the release of Timing Is Everything?
Kid Vishis: I do plan on touring. Right now we are in the process of setting up a tour of the UK, Europe and Canada. I will travel anywhere to perform. I love to travel and I love to perform, so it’s a win-win for me. I feel like I’m getting the most positive responses from overseas, so it would be a true honor for me to go to another country and perform in front of crowds that already take to my music or my style of music. The album came out July 22, so I plan to start touring some time in August. Until then, I’m in the studio being productive and I’m trying to put another album out this year.
Why Kid Vishis Advocates Detroit Unity & Applauds Fellow Emcees
DX: Detroit has always been known as a tough, hard working city. What are your thoughts on Rick Ross not being able to perform there recently?
Kid Vishis: From what I hear, it had very little to do with any issues between Ross and Trick Trick. It had more to do with an issue with the radio station that was throwing the event. Uncle Trick Trick just wanted to speak with [Rick] Ross to make sure that he is okay in Detroit. There is no beef with Ross from what I understand.
DX: The last 20 years in Detroit Hip Hop has been remarkable. What do you think of the emerging talent coming out of Detroit?
Kid Vishis: The Detroit scene is always on point. There’s lots of different varieties of talent man—any style you like we got it: from Royce, Eminem, Doughboyz Cashout, Boldy James and King Gordy. We have every style you can think of, and these guys are all dope at what they do. If I could have it my way, the unity in Detroit’s Hip Hop scene would be much stronger and more unified than it is. That’s something that I feel hurts us as a city, but we are getting better at it as years pass.
DX: What upcoming Detroit rappers do you think are poised for big years in 2015?
Kid Vishis: Myself [laughs]. Boldy James, Icewear Vezzo, Fenkell Payroll, Seven The General and Ty Farris. I honestly feel like I could name you at least 10 more people. Marv Won—who is known for Battle Rap—but he is making some dope Hip Hop music right now. There’s also Young Famous, Big Bus, Street Pacino, Sino, Young Roc—who produces and raps, Yung Blaz, Adubb Da Gawd, and Calicoe is working on dope music. I can go on and on, but I seriously rock with these dudes music.
Kid Vishis Speaks On Diversifying & Battle Rap’s Popularity
DX: What are your thoughts on the Battle Rap scene right now? It’s rumored that Eminem may battle Hollow da Don at the next “Total Slaughter” event.
Kid Vishis: “Total Slaughter” is the new big thing in Battle Rap. It’s like a battle league on steroids [laughs]. I think it’s really elevating the battle scene and will continue much more as years go on.
I’d love to see Arsonal versus Hollow. Arsonal is on a tear right now, so it would be a rematch from when they went at it at the Fight Klub event and Arsonal won. That would be the most disrespectful match of the century and I guarantee it [laughs].
Now Eminem versus Hollow da Don [laughs]? Yeah, right. Whoever said that was clearly making shit up. Em would destroy any battle rapper. If Joe Budden didn’t drop the mic, Joe would’ve won the battle against Hollow. But Hollow is the truth though, real talk. He just not on that level with those guys.
DX: If you had to make your own Slaughterhouse group, who would be the other three members?
Kid Vishis: It would be five members: me and the Horseshoe Gang. There’s not too many people that can keep up with these guys, and when we get on a track together it’s always a high intensity, lyrical spazz session. I don’t think the world is quite ready for something like that, because we could take on anybody and you don’t even know. All rappers and emcees would be in grave danger. They always push me lyrically, and we both have older brothers that are legends who taught us well. We are the true problem for the future of Hip Hop.
DX: In 2011 you spoke with HipHopDX about your first Rap check. Has NFL Street reached back out or are there any plans to work with any other video games?
Kid Vishis: All they gotta do is give the word. Any video game can get a verse or a song, just let me know. I have been really thinking about getting on a video game soundtrack and movie soundtrack. Don’t be surprised if you hear me on the next 2K or UFC video game; I’m sneaky like that. As soon as you hear, “Sick Emmm,” you know who it is!
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